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The 'surprising' email that led to Irish-founded Stripe's latest company buyout

The online payments firm has acquired startup advice site Indie Hackers.

Image: David Jensen/EMPICS Entertainment

STRIPE, THE ONLINE payments firm founded by Limerick brothers Patrick and John Collison, has acquired young firm Indie Hackers for an undisclosed sum.

Indie Hackers is an advice-sharing forum for startups that was founded by American entrepreneur Courtland Allen less than a year ago.

Allen broke the news in a blog post on Indie Hackers’ website, where he described getting a “surprising email” early last month from Patrick Collison.

“I had just stepped off the plane after a long flight to Mexico and I was waiting in line for a taxi when my phone buzzed,” he said in the post. “The email was from Patrick Collison, the CEO of Stripe, and the subject was ‘acquire indie hackers.’”

Allen said that “like most developers and entrepreneurs I know”, he has always admired Stripe’s mission to help online firms grow their business.

“The more we talked, the more obvious it became that my joining Stripe would be a huge win for everyone involved,” he said, “especially the Indie Hackers community.”

Following the acquisition, Allen will become a full-time employee at Stripe, but will continue to work exclusively on developing Indie Hacker.

His brother, Channing – who has helped run the website in recent months – will also be joining Stripe.

collisons John and Patrick Collison Source: Pamela Littky/Stripe

Third acquisition

Indie Hackers was Stripe’s third acquisition. It bought task management platform Kickoff in 2013 and app-development service Tonic in 2016.

The latest buyout points to a further step in Stripe’s ambition to become an all-inclusive service for startup businesses.

More than a year ago, the company launched Atlas, a start-your-own business kit for internet entrepreneurs.

Founded in 2009, Stripe’s core product is a payment processing software for retailers to handle online and mobile transactions. It counts Adidas, Nasdaq and Slack among its customers.

Headquartered in San Francisco, Stripe is valued at $9 billion, making the junior of the Collison brothers, 26-year-old John, the world’s youngest self-made billionaire.

It has been backed by PayPal founders Peter Thiel and Elon Musk and has raised a total of €460 million through several funding rounds.

In November 2016, it completed a $150 million fundraising round that was led by US venture capital companies CapitalG and General Catalyst.

Stripe has customers in more than 110 countries and employs about 500 people. It has previously said 100 of its workforce is located in Dublin.

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Written by Conor McMahon and posted on

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